Continuing Hurricane Preps

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    Sep 28, 2019 7:11 PM GMT
    As always, not sure what Forum best fits weather & civil emergency issues. But even if you’re not in a prime US hurricane region, as we are, you may also face severe weather of different kinds, plus other natural threats.

    Yesterday I ordered a pair of MAG-LITES online, which are aluminum LED flashlights, very tough, waterproof, and these in anodized red for easy visual recognition. They can also flash, for emergency signaling. I got tired of the flimsy plastic flashlights that easily break, barely lasting a year or 2.

    Also sent for an LED table lantern for use as house lighting. With 3 power levels it will light continuously for days, and beyond with all the spare batteries we keep on hand. It also will send an SOS distress signal, in case we get stranded by flooding, which has happened here before.

    We have dozens of candles in glass jars & cups, the lo-tech standby. But the LED lantern is safer, brighter, and portable with a carry handle, rugged & waterproof. If we like it I’ll get more, for placement throughout the condo. Surprisingly it’s sold by Zippo, the cigarette lighter company, from which I also got another lighter at the same time. In the classic Zippo case style, but now with an optional butane gas insert instead of using liquid lighter fluid with a wick. They just introduced it.

    Also got another weather radio from Midland 2 weeks ago, this one a desk model with battery backup. It’s additional features over our portable model are an external window antenna for better reception, a wall-mounted flashing red light (for when my hearing aids aren’t in), and filtering by county code of emergency alerts. The portable weather radio indiscriminately gets alerts from neighboring counties that don’t affect us, whereas this desk model is more locally discrete, based on a NOAA county ID system (called S.A.M.E.).

    So from our perspective we receive fewer “false” alerts. Allowing me to leave the radio in monitor mode 24/7, without getting non-applicable alarms at all hours of the night.

    Of course we know from many media sources when a hurricane is approaching, but associated threats include local tornadoes, severe lightning & hail, floods and unsafe tap water, that happen suddenly in real time, which NOAA/NWS immediately broadcasts with an audible alert, and for us a flashing red light, as well.

    In fact, those 5 things can happen here 365, not just during hurricanes. In addition, NOAA radio sends all kinds of non-weather emergency alerts, including chemical spills, earthquakes & landslides (not a problem here), forest & brush fires, failing dams, even civil disturbances (urban riots), all kinds of things you might wanna know about.

    Other preps we always have ready are non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold, 100+ Dasani water bottles, and as I mentioned, boxes of batteries. We easily managed 5 days without power after Hurricane Irma 2 years ago (nearby neighbors were out 10 days due to oddities in the power distribution network, that may affect us next time), and we feel comfortable we can do even better today. Hope you could, too.
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    Oct 07, 2019 1:05 PM GMT
    Last week the rest of the hurricane stuff I wanted arrived: the MAG-LITE LED hand flashlights, LED lanterns, butane Zippo lighter, and handheld GMRS 2-way radios (walkie-talkies). For outdoor sportsman use, they have a 36-mile range, though will be much less in this semi-urban terrain.

    The radios are a bit of an indulgence, in case both our residential & cell phone services go out, which has happened in the past, when lines go down and cell towers are damaged.. Allows us to feel more comfortable when I go out to search for things like packaged ice, at places that have electricity when we do not. Like I did during Hurricane Irma, actually finding ice that helped us during our home power outage.

    With his increasingly frail health I don’t like leaving him alone without communication, yet bringing him along is difficult for him, especially when elevators are out, and he slows me down. The handhelds also have an emergency call function to summon aid.

    The radios came with a bonus of a free LED lantern, and I like it so much I may get another. LED technology allows both our lanterns to run for a week continuously on low power, all that’s needed indoors in total darkness. And since we’d only use them at night, and not while asleep, their batteries should last for a month’s use. If they fail we have candles for backup, that I’d like to avoid for fire concerns. Plus candles are kinda romantic. icon_wink.gif

    You might ask why not simply evacuate before the hurricane? For one thing, he firmly refuses. I’d have to get a court order. Second, you never know if the storm predictions will be true or not. Third, evacuation is a nightmare, miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic, in which you may be caught in your car during the storm. Fourth, we can’t be sure that we’ll have family or friends in an unpredictably safe area we can reach, and that they’ll have room for us. Hurricane shelters, with sleeping on cots in public spaces, inadequate washroom facilities, unknown food service, are too awful to consider.
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    Oct 07, 2019 3:35 PM GMT
    I would expect a range of at most 6 blocks in suburban terrain - if you are outside.

    https://www.buytwowayradios.com/blog/2016/12/gmrs_radio_range_chart.html
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    Oct 07, 2019 7:29 PM GMT
    I love my sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of drought and flooding plains.
    By Dorothea Mackellor.
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    Oct 07, 2019 8:51 PM GMT

    Muskelprotz said

    I would expect a range of at most 6 blocks in suburban terrain - if you are outside.

    https://www.buytwowayradios.com/blog/2016/12/gmrs_radio_range_chart.html

    “Blocks” is a variable term in the US. Here in Wilton Manors we’re 2 blocks from Wilton Drive, the center of gay activity. It’s about ½ of a mile. That 2-block distance can be more or less elsewhere.

    I’ll be doing some experimenting in our area, to get real-world results. It’s mostly suburban here, 1-story homes with few tall structures. And during a power outage he (and I) will again be spending a lot of time on our second-floor outside patio, where it’s cooler and brighter during the day, giving one of us elevation.

    In past outages I haven’t gone farther than 1 or 2 miles in search of places that were open with power. It’s funny how adjacent areas can have power or not, like someone threw darts all over a map. It’s often not widespread blanket outages, but a puzzling hit or miss thing, and for differing periods of time. Why you go searching.

    Will these 2-ways work for us? We won’t know until we try. But I thought I’d give it a shot. And BTW, Midland Radio has your same range info on their website when you purchase, and is included with their instructions I got.

    Oh, and second BTW, did I mention I also have a Midland portable ‘Base Camp’ 2-way radio that has 5 watts? Versus the 2-watt legal limit the GMRS handhelds have. Meaning our range, including with the handhelds, is increased a bit.
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    Oct 08, 2019 5:57 AM GMT
    One could suggest you move elsewhere, to avoid such drama.
    But since you live grace and favour in your boyfriends apartment. That may be a choice you don't have, and we wouldn't want you going back to living under a bridge, dearest half brother.
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    Oct 08, 2019 10:07 AM GMT
    two_meninlove said
    One could suggest you move elsewhere, to avoid such drama.
    But since you live grace and favour in your boyfriends apartment. That may be a choice you don't have, and we wouldn't want you going back to living under a bridge, dearest half brother.

    Much of the US lives with “drama” (aside from the gay kind). Here in Florida we have hurricanes and tornadoes. Elsewhere I’ve lived it has included a lot more tornadoes, and earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, blizzards, damaging hail, floods, drought, and fires. All of which I’ve experienced. If you knew anything about the US you would know that environmental “drama” is the norm almost everywhere here. Hence my caution and preps.

    My husband owns this condo, it’s not a rented apartment, as I’ve stated here. I have never lived under a bridge (Army & civilian camping tents quite a bit, by choice).

    Yah know, your lying slanders only besmirch yourself, not us. It’s a condo for which I pay all the utilities, property taxes and insurance, because living expenses should be shared equally. He pays the monthly condo maintenance fee in his own name, since he’s been a condo board member for 18 years, and thinks that looks better.

    He also pays for a storage unit he had before we met, holding mostly his stuff from a larger home he owned before downsizing to this condo. Groceries we kinda split, depending if I go alone, or which one of us gets “tagged” in the checkout line. LOL!
  • roadbikeRob

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    Oct 08, 2019 3:10 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    two_meninlove said
    One could suggest you move elsewhere, to avoid such drama.
    But since you live grace and favour in your boyfriends apartment. That may be a choice you don't have, and we wouldn't want you going back to living under a bridge, dearest half brother.

    Much of the US lives with “drama” (aside from the gay kind). Here in Florida we have hurricanes and tornadoes. Elsewhere I’ve lived it has included a lot more tornadoes, and earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, blizzards, damaging hail, floods, drought, and fires. All of which I’ve experienced. If you knew anything about the US you would know that environmental “drama” is the norm almost everywhere here. Hence my caution and preps.

    My husband owns this condo, it’s not a rented apartment, as I’ve stated here. I have never lived under a bridge (Army & civilian camping tents quite a bit, by choice).

    Yah know, your lying slanders only besmirch yourself, not us. It’s a condo for which I pay all the utilities, property taxes and insurance, because living expenses should be shared equally. He pays the monthly condo maintenance fee in his own name, since he’s been a condo board member for 18 years, and thinks that looks better.

    He also pays for a storage unit he had before we met, holding mostly his stuff from a larger home he owned before downsizing to this condo. Groceries we kinda split, depending if I go alone, or which one of us gets “tagged” in the checkout line. LOL!
    I see that Australian right wing imbecile loves to joke about our volatile and erratic weather patterns in the US yet his native Australia is prone and subject to pretty much the same types of volatile and erratic weather patterns that we have here in the US. The only difference is the months of the year because the seasons are the opposite in the US and Australia. So instead of contributing something of intelligent value to the topic and sharing with us what he does to prepare for violent, nasty weather events, he just comes out with his usual shopworn, personal attacks on you with that dearest half brother bullshit. Why don't you just block that repugnant conservatard from Australiaicon_question.gif
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    Oct 08, 2019 3:17 PM GMT
    Ironically, there was an alert on our weather radio moments after I posted my last here. About a severe thunderstorm with heavy lightning heading our way. He was sitting outside on the patio, so I suggested he move inside, bringing his chair. The winds, rain and lightning soon came, I even considered unbolting the satellite dish like I do for hurricanes (it only takes 2 nuts, done in a moment) because of the high wind gusts. Lightning was striking all around us.

    As the storm was hitting, emergency weather notices were issued over our cell & house phones, even to email. I’m not sure the old adage “Better late than never” would apply in this case. But at least NOAA/NWS was on top of it with their early warning, proving the worth of a weather radio in this semi-tropical area. And perhaps in places like “Tornado Alley”, too.
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    Oct 08, 2019 3:59 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    I see that Australian right wing imbecile loves to joke about our volatile and erratic weather patterns in the US yet his native Australia is prone and subject to pretty much the same types of volatile and erratic weather patterns that we have here in the US. The only difference is the months of the year because the seasons are the opposite in the US and Australia. So instead of contributing something of intelligent value to the topic and sharing with us what he does to prepare for violent, nasty weather events, he just comes out with his usual shopworn, personal attacks on you with that dearest half brother bullshit. Why don't you just block that repugnant conservatard from Australiaicon_question.gif

    His posts disparaging my gayness reminds of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Calling his own orientation more into question than my own. He really does overdo it, doesn’t he? With being a “Bonafide Homosexual” and a “Gold Star Gay”. Like he invented gay, and is the sole arbiter of who is gay and who is not.

    It does no good for me to block him, because others will quote him. And read him, the uninformed possibly believing the lies he writes. Not only about me, but about US history & politics.

    Based on his claimed trip to the US, and one of his imaginary husbands being an American. Oh, and also because he says he has some lineage that came from America. All things that have imparted upon him a greater knowledge of our country and its workings than those of us who were raised and live here, and studied its history in years of school. Spewing nonsense that’s just as wrong as what he claims about me.
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    Oct 08, 2019 6:14 PM GMT
    RBR. Mate lets not forget you gave Donald Teump your winning vote. But then when it comes to politics, you do flip and flop a lot like a flounding fish. You swing more than a grandfather clock mate.
    Australia and America have much in common, while still very diffrent.
    Yes Northern Queensland has Tornadoes, and not cyclones.
    Because of this, I made the lifestyle choice not to call Northern Queensland home. Thus I dont continually bitch and whing about Tornadoes. As Fart does yearly about Hurricane's. I mean to say, the US has better choices than Wilton to call home. But then Gay Ghettos are so 1980's, and also dying out. As we homosexuals become more integrated with the broader community.

    I also don't live with my boyfriend of only 10 years. I live with my Fiance of almost 30 years together, in this Great Southern Land; Oz. Where my tipical white American fiance, calls home too.
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    Oct 09, 2019 2:02 PM GMT
    two_meninlove said
    Mate lets not forget you gave Donald Teump [sic] your winning vote.

    WHAT??? As usual this, and the rest of your misspelled and incoherent post makes no sense. Everyone here knows I opposed Trump, and voted against him. You really need to avoid drinking before you post here.

    Returning to the original subject of emergency preparedness, there are many attractive places to live that have environmental risks. Hurricane season for several months each year is the price we accept for living here in perpetual summer. If we miss snow and winter scenes we can take a trip up north, as we do for a few weeks.

    But the steps we take against hurricanes might be of interest to guys who live in other places with different environmental hazards, but preps may be similar. And I hope they’ll share their own ideas & experiences with us.
  • Cutlass

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    Oct 13, 2019 8:04 AM GMT
    Art, does Florida sometimes require mandatory evacuation? Or is it left to your discretion as to whether to leave or stay?
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    Oct 13, 2019 3:28 PM GMT
    Cutlass said
    Art, does Florida sometimes require mandatory evacuation? Or is it left to your discretion as to whether to leave or stay?

    Yes, mandatory evacuations are declared, typically for numbered hurricane zones. That in our area begin at the Atlantic shore. We are in Number 3 (which also has a color code I can't recall), right at the edge with 2.

    During Hurricane Irma 2 years ago our zone was part of a mandatory evacuation. But the legal consequences of ignoring an evacuation order are not clear, and many people do, as we did for Irma. You are told, however, that police, fire and rescue support will cease for evacuation areas as the storm approaches, so you're on your own.

    Emergency services aren't obligated to respond to a 911 call. Which makes riding out the storm a bit risky, if not outright unwise. Hence our preps include possible evacuation, with a "camping-out" period in some unknown place, and also returning to our home when permitted, that may be without power and local services.

    And also the chance of being forced to remain here, when we'd prefer to leave, if evacuation becomes impossible. Which can happen for various reasons in a rapidly changing situation.